We all like to escape from reality with movies and books, but sometimes it’s in reality that the most exciting things happen. Libraries have a vast range of knowledge to share and the non-fiction section is the place to start. Biographies, documentaries, sports games, live music, travel, and more! There’s a world to explore… right from the comfort of our own living room!
Here are some recent non-fiction titles we’re loving.
Tea with the Dames
M | Documentary
From time to time four old friends, all extraordinary actresses, meet up in the English countryside to gossip, to remember and to laugh. For once they let the cameras in… Tea with the Dames is a unique celebration of the lives and careers of four of our most iconic actresses; Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joan Plowright and Dame Maggie Smith. All four have gone from being fledgling actresses in the 1950s to acting royalty. They’ve watched each other’s careers grow and bloom and have celebrated life’s ups and downs together. Tea with the Dames invites you to spend time with these acting legends as they talk about their lives and their professional experiences across theatre, television and film. Directed by Roger Michell (My Cousin Rachel, Notting Hill), the film also includes a range of astonishing archive material. Candid, funny, caustic, irreverent, poignant and utterly engrossing, this unmissable release is proof that there is truly nothing like a Dame.
David Attenborough’s Tasmania
G | Documentary
Tasmania lies on the Australian continent, but is a world apart. It is home to an extraordinary cast of black devils and white wallabies. Trees here tower to one hundred metres and green lights dance in the southern sky. As the last landfall heading south before Antarctica, Tasmania’s isolation, cooler climate and distinct seasons influence everything.
The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman
M | Documentary
How did human civilisation develop? Why do our societies around the world seem so different? And what will society look like in the future, as globalisation and technology upend our ways of life? At a time when global events seem to be driving cultures apart, this fascinating new series – vast in scope and intimate in style – aims to uncover the fundamental forces that keep our societies together, and to reveal the common humanity that lies inside each one of us. Morgan Freeman goes on a global journey to meet people from all cultures whose lives are shaped in surprising ways by these fundamental forces… to understand how human culture has taken so many remarkable forms.
The Ghan: Australia’s Greatest Train Journey
G | Documentary
An Australian first foray into the ‘Slow TV’ movement, this is an immersive journey on Australia’s most iconic railway that reveals – in real time – the stunning topographical vistas and dramatic palette changes from Adelaide to Darwin, while unpacking our Indigenous, multicultural and social history in the most surprising way. The train line and subsequent development of central Australia and the growth of Darwin, Alice Springs and Port Augusta can be attributed to local Indigenous communities’ knowledge of surviving the harsh desert, as well as early immigrants, including Europeans, Chinese and the Afghan cameleers ‘The Ghan’ is named after.
City of Ghosts
MA15+ | Documentary
A documentary that follows the efforts of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently”, a handful of anonymous activists who banded together after their homeland was taken over by ISIS in 2014. With deeply personal access, this is the story of a brave group of citizen journalists as they face the realities of life undercover, on the run and in exile, risking their lives to stand up against one of the greatest evils in the world today.
Harry Potter: A History of Magic
PG | Documentary
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book, this documentary visits the real-life magical history behind J.K. Rowling’s beloved classics. With footage from the British Library’s exhibition, and exclusive access to a priceless collection of artefacts, take a tour around the mesmerising journey creating this global phenomenon. Includes interviews with J.K. Rowling herself as she examines the most exciting items on display, and opens her private archive to reveal drawings and drafts that have been hidden away for years. And, as opening night arrives, famous fans marvel at this fascinating trove of delights, like Harry Potter seeing Diagon Alley for the first time.
E | Documentary
Only three centuries ago, setting out to climb a mountain would have been considered close to lunacy. Mountains were places of peril, not beauty, an upper world to be shunned, not sought out. Why do mountains now hold us spellbound, drawing us into their domination, often at the cost of our lives? Mountain is a cinematic and musical collaboration between acclaimed director Jennifer Peedom and the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO), one of the greatest chamber orchestras in the world. Shot by the world’s best adventure cinematographers, written by best-selling author Robert Macfarlane and including original music by ACO artistic director Richard Tognetti, this feature documentary explores the troubled and triumphant history of our timeless fascination with mountains.
These titles and many more can be found in your local library, if its not available you can always request it.